Skip to main content

11-year-old Pau Gasol wanted to become a doctor after seeing what happened to his favorite player Magic Johnson

gasol (1)

Paul Gasol who is now in his 18th NBA season and signed with the Milwaukee Bucks hopefully to win one more championship before retirement. Pau is known around the league as one of the best international players, a true professional and ambassador of the game. However, when he was a little kid who just started playing basketball, he was influenced by Magic Johnson and the way Magic ran the famous Showtime Lakers. It was even a bigger shock for young Gasol when Magic announced he was infected by the HIV virus.

At that time, Gasol was an 11-year-old kid playing basketball, who actually thought his biggest basketball idol growing up would die, simply because people back then weren't informed about the issue as they are today.

"I thought, 'He's going to die. At that time, HIV-AIDS equaled death. I was wandering around the school, just thinking about it, just wow. There was a lot of speculation on how you can catch it. You were afraid of sipping on somebody's bottle of Coke or eating off the same plate. Things like that or saliva. Is it transmitted by blood only? As an 11-year-old, it's a lot to take. It had an impact."

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

At that moment he decided he wants to become a doctor, and actually enrolled into the medical school in Spain. Gasol played basketball professionally while at the same time attending school, but unfortunately, when his career took off he no longer had time to do both things so he solely dedicated his time for basketball. Despite choosing basketball over medicine, Gasol never forgot the basic training he received at the school.

Chief orthopedic surgent David Skaggs remembers a meeting with Gasol who came to his hospital and asked about various medical topics only someone who had previous education would actually ask about. This is something that came as a total surprise to Skaggs, who couldn't believe an NBA player knew the medical terms that were very specific.

At Children’s Hospital he met with doctors in a conference room, quizzing them about their treatment of patients with scoliosis, asking how they ensure that their procedures do not stunt lung development. “We all looked at each other like, How does he know this stuff?” says Dr. David Skaggs, chief of orthopedic surgery. Next month Gasol is scheduled to sit in on a spinal surgery with Skaggs, dressed in scrubs. “We talk to him now almost like he is a surgical colleague,” Skaggs says.

Allen Iverson created his own path to the NBA that many players after him have looked to follow

'I'm a Sixer for life' - Allen Iverson doesn't understand why the Sixers won't consider giving him a role in the organization

Allen Iverson wanted to help the Sixers but is wondering why nothing has materialized yet to this day.


“It's not a hard shot to learn” — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar explains why no player in NBA history has perfected the skyhook

It might not have been passed to one generation after another, but that proves that only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar perfected one of the most iconic signature moves in the history of the sport.

North Carolina Tar Heels former guard Michael Jordan and former head coach Dean Smith

“It was Coach [Dean] Smith's call” — Michael Jordan opens up about what convinced him to declare for the NBA Draft

Michael Jordan's college coach Dean Smith was the one who pushed him to forego his senior year in North Carolina.

Los Angeles Lakers center Vlade Divac

“He enjoyed smoking cigarettes more than shooting free throws in practice” — Vlade Divac was called out for his smoking addiction during his time with the Los Angeles Lakers

While Divac's smoking addiction might've earned him a spot on the Lakers roster, it also certainly rubbed his teammates the wrong way.

Washington Wizards guard Michael Jordan

“One of the bad decisions I made was to go back and play” — Michael Jordan on why he regrets coming back to play for the Washington Wizards

MJ thought he was ”being innovative in my job by going down and evaluating the talent firsthand.” It was the exact opposite.

Matt Barnes on the Ime Udoka suspension - “This situation in Boston is deep, messy and 100 times uglier than any of us thought”

Matt Barnes on the Ime Udoka suspension -“This situation in Boston is deep, messy and 100 times uglier than any of us thought”

Barnes said he got the full scoop of the Udoka situation. and says that the story is deeper and uglier than he was made to believe, although he wouldn't divulge the details of the story